KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The UMKC women’s soccer team will square off with Seattle U in the second round of the Western Athletic Conference Tournament on Friday, Nov. 3 at 6 p.m. CT. It will be the team’s first time back in action since last Saturday’s road win at Chicago State.
About the Roos
UMKC (12-6-1, 7-0 WAC) will play their first match of the WAC Tournament after earning a first round bye as the top seed in the tournament. The Roos enter the game riding an eight game win streak, with seven of those wins coming in the shutout variety, and claiming victories in ten of their last eleven contests.
Lexie Howard (Kearney, Mo.) has been the sparkplug for UMKC in the 2017 season leading the team and conference with twelve goals on the year. Her 27 points are also a team-best and sits as the second-most point total in the WAC. Kelsey Mothershead (Smithville, Mo.) and Kara Priest (Overland Park, Kan.) have also made significant offensive contributions. Mothershead’s seven goals and 20 points each sit sixth in the WAC while Priest’s five assists ranks sixth in conference as well.
Defense has been nothing short of spectacular for the Roos throughout the season. The backline of Sydni Young (O’Fallon, Mo.), Halle Hamilton (Lincoln, Neb.), Abby Small (Kansas City, Mo.) and Maddi Cipolla (Lee’s Summit, Mo.) have proven to a formidable backline that ranks at the top of the WAC in nearly all team defensive statistics. UMKC has allowed 15 goals overall and one goal in conference play, while securing 11 shutouts overall and six in WAC competition, all ranking first in the conference. The team’s stellar .780 goals against average is 58th nationally and their .579 shutouts per game is tied for 20th nationally.
Who will be tasked with guarding the net for the Roos remains unclear, as goalkeepers Anna Lillig (Kansas City, Mo.) and Erin Roth (Eureka, Mo.) alternated games between the posts throughout the second half of the season. Both keepers saw action in the regular season finale, combining for a shutout against Chicago State. Lillig and Roth have each been spectacular this year, with Roth leading the conference in goals against average (0.36) and save percentage (.903), while Lillig has collected the sixth-most saves (60) and ranks fourth in goals against average (1.09).
The Roos currently hold a 1-6-2 all-time record with the Redhawks, picking up the first series win earlier this season with a 3-0 home win on Oct. 8. In the 2016 WAC Tournament, UMKC fell by a narrow 2-1 margin to Seattle U in the championship game.
Taking Home Awards
UMKC received significant recognition from the WAC at the postseason award ceremony, with five players and head coach Chris Cissell all earned prominent conference honors. Cissell brought home the Coach of the Year award, while Howard and Small won Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year awards, respectively. The Roos saw four players – Small, Howard, Mothershead, Reighan Childers (Grain Valley, Mo.) - land on the All-WAC First-Team, with defender Halle Hamilton earning a spot on the All-WAC Second-Team.
About the Redhawks
Seattle U (8-8-3, 3-2-2 WAC) pulled off a 3-0 win Wednesday evening over New Mexico State to advance to a semi-final round matchup with UMKC. The Redhawks are the reigning WAC tournament champions, claiming a 2-1 victory over the Roos in last year’s championship game. Seattle U is led offensively by forwards Jessie Ray and Leahi Manthei. Ray has scored seven goals and recorded three assists on the year for 17 points, while Manthei has also notched seven goals and picked up two assists this season. The duo rank tied for sixth in the WAC in goals while Ray sits at eighth and Manthei ranks ninth in points. While goalkeeper Mackenzie Curry has seen the bulk of the work between posts for the Redhawks in 2017, making 14 starts in 19 games, Ashley Routh has manned the net in the team’s past four games. Routh picked up shutouts in each of the contests, collecting a combined 13 saves.
The Roos will advance to the championship match of the WAC Tournament with a win over Seattle U in Friday night’s contest, which is slated for Sunday, Nov. 5 at 3 p.m. CT. A loss will leave UMKC hoping for an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament to continue their season.
– UMKC –